Supreme Court Rules That Texas Heartbeat Bill Can Stand As Legal Challenges Continue

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Texas Heartbeat bill, which bans most abortions after a heartbeat can be detected, can remain in place as ongoing legal challenges to the legislation continue.

The court also determined that abortion providers in Texas can take action against licensing officials but not other state authorities over the law, which went into effect on September 1.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority opinion, made clear that the continuality of the law is “not before the court.”

Chief Justice John Roberts, meanwhile, who is the high court’s de facto swing voter, wrote an opinion signed by liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan in which The Federalist noted that he appeared to signal a belief that the law is unconstitutional.

“Texas has employed an array of stratagems designed to shield its unconstitutional law from judicial review,” he wrote, later adding that “these provisions, among others, effectively chill the provision of abortions in Texas.” He also argued that abortion is “a federal right.”

The assertion that abortion is a constitutional right is often by supporters of legalized abortion who point to the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade which effectively legalized abortion within the United States.

A separate case currently being considered by the high court involves a challenge to a Mississippi abortion law and how the judges rule could potentially weaken or overturn Roe.

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